Cher Lloyd – Want U Back
The music world is littered with talent show graduates. Turn on the TV at pretty much any time and there’s a good chance you’ll stumble across some aspiring star attempting to please a panel of theatrically unimpressed celebrity judges. The winners of these kinds of programmes tend to be artists epitomising the very concept of bland. In appealing to everyone all the rough edges are smoothed off. They don’t offend anyone, but they don’t excite them that much either. They’re thre musical equivalent of white bread, vanilla ice cream and plain crisps. Sure, they’ll enjoy a short period of success in the immediate aftermath of their coronation, but things normally take a turn for the worse once the network TV glitter gets rubbed off.
If you’re looking for an artist on a televised talent show with genuine personality, you’re normally better off checking out the runners up. Cher Lloyd came fourth on the UK X Factor in 2010, losing out to singer-songwriter Matt Cardle. While Cardle is a non-threatening charisma-vacuum, Lloyd is a kooky and entertaining bundle of energy. ‘Want U Back’, the latest track from her debut album ‘Sticks + Stones’, sees her going a little crazy over an ex-boyfriend who has had the temerity to move on and meet someone new. The cad.
It’s a good showcase for Lloyd’s slightly offbeat personality, and considerably more interesting than anything an actual X Factor winner is ever likely to produce. It’s a clear sign that Lloyd doesn’t want to climb on the identikit production line, but actually express herself.
“I had a trip to LA not long ago and recorded some new songs,” she told Digital Spy. “They’re very much of the parental guidance sort though! I’m not sure whether they’ll be used anywhere, but I’m 18 now, so I can swear in my songs if I want to. I’m growing and I want to be that artist that I want.”
Which is not to say that she’s completely walked away from her talent show beginnings. In a nice piece of Transatlantic synergy, US X Factor runner up Astro pops in to deliver a verse on ‘Want U Back’. These guys have to stick together.